Baseball in Wartime

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice

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Johnny Groth

Date and Place of Birth: July 23, 1926 Chicago, IL

Baseball Experience: Major League


Military Unit: US Navy

Area Served: United States


In February 1945, high school graduate, John T. Groth, enlisted in the Navy and attended boot camp at Great Lakes Naval Training Station, where he played baseball for Bob Feller as the only member of the Great Lakes team without professional baseball experience. Playing leftfield and centerfield, Groth hit .341 in 31 games and signed with the Detroit Tigers following his discharge in August 1946. Too late for assignment to a minor league team, Groth stayed with the Tigers the remainder of the season and appeared in four games going hitless in nine at-bats. After a couple of seasons in the minors, Groth became a regular with the Tigers and batted .306 with 12 home runs and 85 RBIs in his first full season (1950). Groth played over 1,200 games in a career that spanned 15 years, and managed in the minors for a couple of seasons.

Copyright © 2016 Gary Bedingfield (Baseball in Wartime). All Rights Reserved.